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Clutter, Storage and Happiness - NYTimes.com


Stashed in: Collections, #happiness, Simplify, Curation, #lifehacks, Letting Go, Home Sweet Home!, Meaning of Life, Awesome, Books!, Blogs!, Facebook!, Kindle!, Best PandaWhale Posts, Fight Club, Storage!, Mind Blown!, Mindfulness, Lifehacks

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I just reread Fight Club, so this conflicts with those ideas.

As Frank Lloyd Wright cautioned, “To know what to leave out and what to put in; just where and just how, ah, that is to have been educated in knowledge of simplicity.”

Love "Fight Club." And the book's ending is much better than the movie's ending.

(looking up book's ending on Wikipedia...)

Whoa, way better ending! Why, Fincher, why???

(Kitteh coughed up HTML, got something to wipe it up with?.... PLZ DEELT)

I heart kitty HTML.

Great article, though I've not read Fight Club beyond the first rule...

//we too often deny the importance of our possessions and don’t spend enough time thinking about how possessions can boost happiness. The things we own exert a powerful influence over the atmosphere of our homes. //

If you can accept the (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect) Endowment Effect she mentions, then the whole clutter story gets more interesting. Sherry Turkle (the MIT professor of Alone Together fame), wrote an interesting book a few years back called (http://www.amazon.com/Evocative-Objects-Things-Think-With/dp/0262201682) Evocative Objects which is also a great read.

Poke around in your mom's house -- or other family packrat. I'm convinced that every family has one or more...

Don't let the things you own, own you.

Well, yeah. To accomplish the cleanup, I've learned to operate like an OS garbage collector... take from the bottom of the pile and no one's the wiser...;-b (shhhh)

That's a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

Simplicity is complicated:

This is the cultural dilemma that supports a multibillion-dollar storage industry: we love our stuff, and we also dream of being free of it. According to the Self Storage Association, 1 in 10 American households rents a storage unit. And still our closets, attics, basements and garages are jampacked with stuff. The Department of Energy estimates that 25 percent of people who have two-car garages don’t park their cars inside.

It's hard to let go.

The solution is mindful curation.

"By mindfully deciding what to put in, we know what we can leave out."

I would prefer to go more crazy toward the minimalist idea a la Fight Club rather than a storage solution. There is only the present.

Mindful curation, with a long term view.

If you'll allow me a little story: When we moved into our rose-covered Berkeley house many years ago, the previous owner gave us an encyclopedia of roses that was given to him by the previous owner when he moved in. Tucked inside that book was a little hand drawn map of the roses in the garden -- all old, heritage roses. On the reverse side of the paper, written in the shaky hand of an old lady, was a cross reference for each rose to the pages they were discussed in the book.

At that moment I realized that though we'd been focused on buying our first house, the important thing here was that we'd just taken possession of a home that would be our responsibility to manage and maintain before passing it on to the next family. We are just caretakers here.

We add to the garden, we take away. All mindful curation.

To leave the world a bit better... This is to have succeeded.

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

No one tells you when you become a parent how much children output. The sheer quantity of drawings, mysterious clay objects, glued together trash etc is mind blowing. kindergarten and first grade I "curated" picking a few for a scrapbook, secretly tossing the rest (boy they get upset is they find one in the recycling). I think this year I'm starting a blog just of her art. I don't mind cluttering up the internet. ;)

it's funny because I just read an essay by Michael Chabon in "manhood for amateurs" on the same phenomenon. he points out we not only throw away their art, but so many of our precious minutes with them, turning on the TV, telling them later when they want to build a fort... in all ways our seeming abundance leads us to waste. it's only when we see the bottom of the barrel-- the endangered chilean sea bass overfished, the kid in the car off to college-- we wish we had just a little more time with them. And so we save junk. Maybe if we learned to be present, we could more easily shed the things and enjoy the moments.

pogo.jpg

Great solution: take a picture and put it online.

This is what blogs and Facebook are for.

This is always a struggle. When I tackled this I did it armed with a camera. I photographed every trinket and tossed it. Books were the hardest, by far. But the reward was that I found an autographed Carter-Mondale campaign photo, a letter from Reagan, and a snapshot of Strom Thurmond. Small victories.

The camera is a great idea, Dawn.

As for books, moving to a Kindle-based library seems to be increasingly easy...

Keep the ones unavailable on Kindle, donate the rest.

That's what I've done, little by little.

Little by little is how progress happens. :)

Question: Does Kindle/Nook/others allow you to let your friends borrow your digital copy?

Also, when thinking about donating books, consider sending them to soldiers overseas. You could easily help improve the reading material quality.

No ebooks let you lend friends a copy yet.

That's clearly coming. 2013 or 2014, I'm guessing.

I haven't tried to lend ebooks, but I think you can: Here's an article: usat.ly/sTd5YC

I'm fairly sure (because I have friends who are soldiers overseas) that they don't want my stodgy nerd reading. Also, most of them have Kindles now.

We do want your nerd reading, I promise you. Dirty infantry types love some good nerdy books.

You find me the nerd, then. I'll send books.

Dawn thanks for the tip that some books are lendable.

The most popular titles still cannot be lent but that will change in the next few years.

c/o CPT Marcus Morgan

S3, HHC, CTF 1-502, 2/101

FOB Wilson

APO AE 09370

OK:) The Captain will see some books.

Doesn't seem fair that I can't lend my books because they are popular. So, I can lend the crappy ones? Who's the marketing genius behind this one?

Publishing companies are still getting used to the idea.

Just like right now you cannot lend out iTunes, too. Nervous music publishers.

...which is silly because it's easy to score up a playlist anywhere...that stuff is obsolete.

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